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  • Writer's pictureTea Para Ti

How to Make Soursop Tea From Leaves: Brew the Benefits in 3 Easy Steps

Updated: Jun 20, 2023


A thumbnail with a background of soursop leaves underneath a cup of yellow tea, and a banner reading "How to Make Soursop Leaf Tea"

Wondering how to make soursop leaf tea?

Soursop tea — usually made by brewing the dried leaves of the soursop tree — is known for its unique flavor and health benefits. Tea drinkers and health gurus alike may look to soursop leaf tea to help with everything from weight loss, and hair loss, to heart health, anxiety, and a whole lot more.


Whether you're a curious tea enthusiast looking to explore new flavors or want to harness the potential health properties of this intriguing tea, we're here to help you make soursop tea from leaves right at home in just a few steps.


But, there's a few things you'll want to know about this special tea, first!

What is Soursop Leaf Tea?


A graphic of green soursop fruits on a yellow background

Soursop tea, also known as graviola tea, is a beverage made from the leaves of the soursop tree (Annona muricata) or guanabana tree. This tree is native to tropical regions of the Americas, but is also widely spread through out parts of northern Africa and Southeast Asia.


If you're thinking, "Woah, I've never seen a fruit quite like that!" we don't blame you. The soursop fruit has a green, scaly and spiky exterior that may look similar to durian or jackfruit, which also come from tropical regions. Inside, you'll find creamy white flesh that's soft, fibrous, and velvety when you eat it, sharing a similar texture to a banana. And, this fruit may taste familiar to pineapple or custard apple, offering a blend of sweet and tangy flavors with slight undertones.


And, while the fruit is usually reserved for soursop juice — something we definitely recommend trying — we're here for the soursop leaves, which are used for the tea.


Why is Soursop Tea Made from Pure Leaves?

A glass tea kettle filled with soursop tea leaves

So, why do people prefer to make soursop tea — and, other teas, like green tea — with the leaves, instead of using good ol' handy teabags? (Though, you can do it that way, too. More on that in a bit.)


Most tea lovers know that, in general, brewing tea leaves will give you a richer flavor and provide better access to the tea's properties and health benefits versus brewing it another way. This is also because the leaves tend to be organic, fresher, and easier to know the source compared to mass-produced tea bags.


All of this is especially true for soursop, because there are so many flavors and benefits to seek out. Though both soursop juices and soursop extract found in teabag versions still give you access to those characteristics, making soursop tea from the leaves is recommended to get the most you can out of your experience with soursop overall.


What Are the Health Benefits of Soursop Tea Leaves

A woman looking out a window drinking a mug of soursop leaf tea for health benefits

So, what exactly are the benefits of soursop leaves that tea drinkers are raving about? Well, turns out soursop leaves offer A LOT of them.


Check these out:

  • Soursop tea regulates blood health: Many people who want to lower high blood pressure or address heart problems will turn to tea as an aid. Soursop tea is known to have potassium, which can contribute to various aspects of blood health. This includes regulating blood glucose levels or blood sugar levels, lowering high blood pressure, and improving blood circulation altogether.

  • Soursop tea boosts the immune system: Get sick a lot? Soursop tea is believed to possess immune-boosting properties due to its antioxidants and nice dosage of vitamin C, which help protect the body against harmful free radicals and support a healthy immune response.

  • Soursop tea for digestive health: Is your stomach upset? Soursop tea is known to have natural digestive properties, from treating your unsettled stomach to promoting digestive health on a regular basis.

  • Soursop tea for sleep and relaxation: Like many teas, soursop tea is often enjoyed for its calming effects. Making soursop tea from leaves is a good way help relax the mind and body, making it a good choice for those seeking another chill tea to add to the teabox and unwind after a stressful day.

  • Supporting healthy skin: The antioxidants present in soursop tea may contribute to promoting healthy skin. They can help combat oxidative stress, which is associated with premature aging and skin damage.

  • Potential anti-inflammatory properties: Because soursop contains flavonoids, it's believed to possess anti-inflammatory properties, which could potentially help reduce inflammation in the body.

Soursop Tea Benefits for Weight Loss and Body Weight Management

Soursop tea has gained attention for its potential benefits in weight loss and managing body weight, as have other teas like oolong tea. While scientific evidence is limited, soursop tea is low in calories and contains fiber, which can help reduce appetite and support portion control. Additionally, it is believed to possess metabolism-boosting properties that may aid in burning calories more efficiently.


However, it's important to note that soursop tea should be part of a comprehensive approach to weight management, including a balanced diet and regular exercise.

Note that many of these benefits still need to be studied more to truly understand the effects of soursop tea.


Health Considerations: What You Need to Know

Three senior women drinking mugs of tea

While soursop tea is generally safe for consumption, there are additional health considerations to keep in mind:

  • Moderation is key: How often should you drink soursop tea? Despite all the potential benefits, like any tea, drinking too much may lead to adverse effects due to its natural compounds. It's always wise to consult with a healthcare professional, especially if you have any existing medical conditions or are taking medications.

  • Presence of alkaloids and acetogenins: Soursop contains alkaloids as well as acetogenins, including annonacin, which in high amounts may have toxic effects and has been associated with Parkinson's disease-like syndrome in past studies, particularly one study focused in Guadeloupe. However, these same compounds have been believed to have anticancer properties (more on that below) — hence, more research is needed.

  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding: If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, it's recommended to consult with your healthcare provider before consuming soursop tea. The side effects of soursop tea on pregnancy and lactation have not been extensively studied, and it's better to err on the side of caution.

  • Allergic reactions: Some individuals may be allergic to soursop or related fruits. If you have a known allergy to fruits like custard apples, pawpaw, or cherimoya, exercise caution when consuming soursop tea. If you experience any allergic reactions, such as itching, swelling, or difficulty breathing, seek medical attention immediately.

  • Interactions with medications: Soursop tea may interact with certain medications, including blood pressure medications, antidepressants, and sedatives. If you are currently taking any medications, it's necessary to discuss soursop tea consumption with your healthcare provider to avoid potential interactions.

Isn't Soursop Tea Meant to Help Cancer Patients?

Remember those annonaceous acetogenins? These compounds in soursop have been explored in recent studies for their potential anticancer properties in traditional medicine. Ultimately, the soursop tea extracts are believed to support the health of cells, including — but, not limited to — breast cancer cells, prostate cancer cells, cancerous cells, and host cells, believed to have potential anti-cancer properties and beneficial effects on cellular well-being.


However, the research studies are limited, and there is no conclusive evidence supporting soursop tea leaves as a standalone cancer treatment. While soursop may have potential health benefits in terms of preventing cancer, the keyword here is "potential". Therefore, soursop tea should never replace conventional cancer treatments, and should also not be consumed as it could interact with medications, as we mentioned above.


Again, always talk to your doctor before adding soursop tea or other teas to your diet. Read more at our disclaimer.


How to Make Tea From Soursop Leaves

Brewing a ceramic pot of soursop tea leaves

Now that that's all out of the way, let's get to the fun stuff: making tea from soursop leaves.


Ready? Here are 3 easy steps to making soursop tea from leaves!


Step 1: Source the Soursop Leaves

When preparing soursop tea, it's important to source high-quality leaves of the soursop plant to ensure both flavor and safety. Here are some tips to help you find trusted soursop leaves:

  • Local health food stores or specialty markets: Check your local health food stores or specialty markets that carry a variety of herbal teas and ingredients. They may stock soursop leaves or be able to order them for you.

  • Online herbal tea suppliers: Numerous online retailers specialize in selling herbal teas and ingredients. Look for reputable suppliers that source their soursop leaves from reliable sources. Read customer reviews and check for any certifications or quality standards mentioned on their websites.

  • Farmer's markets or local farms: Explore farmer's markets or visit local farms that grow tropical fruits. They may have fresh soursop leaves available for sale. This can be a great way to support local businesses and ensure the freshness of the leaves.

This won't be possible for everyone, but you can also consider growing your own soursop tree if you live in the right zone for it! (In the U.S., this would be places like south Florida, Puerto Rico, etc.) This way, you can have a sustainable supply of fresh leaves whenever you want to make soursop tea. Nurseries or garden centers may have soursop tree saplings available for purchase, too.


Step 2: Wash and Prepare the Leaves


To make a delicious cup of soursop tea, you have two options: fresh soursop leaves or already dried leaves. Regardless of whether you're using fresh or dried leaves, it's important to ensure they are organic and free from pesticides or chemicals.


For fresh soursop leaves, begin by drying them out for 1-2 weeks to remove moisture. This step is necessary to enhance their flavor. However, most people prefer the convenience of using already-dried leaves, which are readily available for purchase.


To wash the soursop leaves, gently rinse the leaves under cold running water to eliminate any dirt or impurities. Pat them dry using a clean kitchen towel or paper towel. Fresh leaves may require a more thorough rinse, while already dried leaves typically need less attention in this regard, depending on their source.


Step 3: Brew the Soursop Leaf Tea!


Time: 20 minutes

What you'll need:

  • 10-12 fresh or dried, organically sourced soursop leaves.

  • 4 cups of water

  • Optional: honey or your preferred sweetener

*The recommended ratio of soursop leaves to water for making soursop leaf tea is approximately 5-7 leaves per 2 cups (500 ml) of water. This ratio can be adjusted based on personal preference and the desired strength of the tea.


Instructions:


  • Place a medium-sized pot on the stove.

  • Add the prepared (washed) soursop leaves to the pot, and cover the leaves with enough water.

  • Let the water come to a boil.

  • Once it is boiling, you can either set it to a low heat and let simmer, or turn off the heat and let the leaves steep for about 5-10 minutes, depending on your preference.

  • After 5 minutes of steeping, let the tea cool until it is at your desired drinking temperature.

  • Using a fine-mesh strainer or a tea infuser, strain the tea to remove the soursop leaves. Or, simply remove the leaves from the pot and pour the freshly brewed soursop tea into cups or mugs through a strainer, preserving the smooth liquid.

  • Stir well and viola!

Notes:


To make your soursop tea even more delightful, consider these tips:

  • Cut up the soursop leaves: Instead of using whole leaves, you can chop up the leaves and place them directly in hot water or use a tea infuser or tea bag to contain the leaves while steeping.

  • Add sweetener: If desired, add honey or your preferred sweetener to taste.

  • Add other ingredients: For added depth and complexity, you can infuse your soursop tea with spices like cinnamon or ginger, or even a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

  • Serve it chilled: Soursop tea can be enjoyed both hot and cold. If you prefer a refreshing iced tea, simply refrigerate it after brewing and serve it over ice.

How to Make Soursop Leaves Tea...Without the Leaves?

Soursop tea extracts in a teabag steeped in a white ceramic mug on a wooden table

If you're looking to enjoy the taste and benefits of soursop tea but don't have access to soursop leaves — or you just prefer a more convenient option — there are alternatives available that still provide the essence of soursop with a little less time:


Soursop Leaf Extracts


Soursop leaf extracts, sometimes referred to as graviola leaf extracts, offer a concentrated form of the beneficial compounds found in soursop leaves. These extracts are carefully processed to extract the active ingredients, resulting in a potent and convenient form of soursop for consumption. You can typically find soursop leaf extracts in health stores or online.


To use soursop leaf extract, follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer, which usually involve diluting the recommended amount in hot water. This allows you to enjoy the flavors and potential health benefits of soursop without the need for fresh leaves.


Teabags with Soursop Extracts


Another option is soursop tea in teabags. These teabags contain the extracts of graviola leafs, which have been processed and packaged for convenient brewing. They offer a quick and simple way to enjoy the taste and potential benefits of soursop tea without the need for fresh leaves.


To prepare soursop tea from teabags, simply place a teabag in a cup, pour hot water over it, and let it steep for the recommended time, usually around 5-7 minutes (just like the leaves, so if you already have dried leaves and time to rinse them, it will only take a few extra minutes).


Time to Enjoy Soursop Leaf Tea!

A woman sitting in a woven chair next to a window curtain, sipping on a hot cup of tea

Discover the authentic and fulfilling experience of brewing soursop leaf tea. We hope our simple — yet, informative guide — will convince you to try this recipe! Making soursop tea from leaves allows you to savor natural flavors and potential health benefits while maintaining ingredient quality, and it doesn't have to take as long as you think.


Now that you know how to make tea from soursop leaves, you can unlock the powerful benefits and indulge in the yummy flavors of this tropical plant.


We just loving adding more unique teas to our teabox! Don't you?


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